Hong Kong fathers to get paternity leave

HRM 28 Nov 2012

In a landmark ruling, Hong Kong fathers will be given three days of paternity leave for the first time in its history.

Labour Minister Matthew Cheung said that the labour advisory board, which is made up of employer and employee representatives, has approved the three-day statutory leave period.

"I think this is a very good start. This is in line with the government's objective of promoting family-friendly employment practice," Cheung said, without giving a time frame for when the draft bill will be ready, in a report by AFP.

Currently, mothers are allowed 10 weeks of maternity leave while fathers in the civil service are given five days. Fathers in the private sector have never been given paternity leave.

Most working fathers in Hong Kong are forced to use up annual leave allowance as well as sick leave if they want to spend time with their newborn child.

Employers have raised a ruckus, saying that it will raise labour costs and saddle them with unnecessary costs. The Federation of Hong Kong Industries has also linked the provision of paternity leave in Europe to the region’s debt crisis.

Despite objections from many of Hong Kong’s employers, officials have agreed to start drafting new laws on Monday,


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